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The Devil Doesn't Want Me

(A Lars and Shaine Novel #1)

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  84 ratings  ·  24 reviews
A hit man with a crisis of conscience faces his biggest challenge yet: protecting an innocent victim against deadly forces during a desperate run for the coast in Eric Beetner's thrilling novel.

For the last seventeen years, Lars has been on a job for a prominent East Coast crime family. His task: kill Mitch the Snitch. Mitch is living in witness protection and has eluded L
ebook, 258 pages
Published October 23rd 2012 by Dutton Guilt Edged Mystery
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4.27  · 
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 ·  84 ratings  ·  24 reviews

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Jan 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Duane Swierczynski + Charlie Stella + Dan Marlowe + Donald Hamilton
Recommended to Still by: I like Eric Beetner

4 stars!
Action packed, fast paced tale of a hitman given an assignment he can't seem to be able to fulfill.
He's a killer, alright ...he's just lost the zeal for this particular assignment given that he's been assigned a "helper" he doesn't much care for.

I loved this.
Totally original but the writing on occasion reminded me of both Duane Swierczynski and Charlie Stella.

Highly recommended.
This ain't highbrow lit - this is a big-time fun read.
It's as much fun as you can have in 272 pages.
Without a p
Henry Brock
Feb 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Like many book lovers, I buy a lot of books. Sometimes I buy a book and don’t read it right away. If you’re a bookaholic, you’re probably the same. It’s hard to know why. Sometimes a book needs to sit awhile. Percolate.
It was like that with Eric Beetner’s “The Devil Doesn’t Want Me”. I’ve been sitting on this book for months and waited…for what I don’t know. Finally, I picked it up and started in. Let me tell you, once you start this one, you won’t stop. You’ll be cancelling plans, calling in s
Andy Weston
Mar 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a road-trip novel in the mould of the best of them as aging hit-man Lars attempts to make his last hit in Albuquerque, Mitch the Snitch, who he has been tailing unsuccessfully for seventeen years. He is Beetner's anti-hero, but his writing has the reader siding with him, despite his 43 kills so far.

This is also noir, and the body count may involve your calculator. It is fast paced and action packed. Personally I prefer my noir more subtle, but that's not to say I didn't enjoy this, and
Kelly Hager
Feb 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is basically a more fun version of No Country For Old Men. Probably a more fair comparison (in terms of fun) would be to Duane Swierczynski, because these books are just fun. Like noir, but without the complete sense of dread.

Obviously since Lars is a hit man, we're not supposed to root for him...but try not to. Seriously. He's one of the most uncompromisingly moral characters I've seen in ages, which, yes, is very ironic. But while his profession requires him to kill people (and let's not
Mark Allen
Apr 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One part "The Mechanic" and one part "The Professional," Eric Beetner's kickoff to the Lars & Shaine series is violent, action-packed crime fiction done right. I had a devil of a good time reading this gem. Usually the hardboiled genre doesn't get me whipped into a lather due to a lack of action--I am primarily an action-adventure reader/writer--but Beetner serves up plenty of shootouts and fisticuffs that make this more of an action-crime novel than a straight-up hardboiled entry. And for t ...more
Jul 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
a joy to read !
now i need some negra suprema ...
Nigel Bird
Feb 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Here’s a great read for fans of the hit-man genre. Hell, here’s a great read for anyone who likes a good tale that’s well told.
Eric Beetner takes a number of clichés and twists them until they become new and fresh.
Lars has been working in the one hit for seventeen years. During that time he’s kept his killing skills sharp and has taken up yoga to keep his body keen. He’s been hanging around New Mexico in the hope that he’ll finally complete the contract put out by his employer Nikki Senior.
Jan 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Road trip. Geezer noir. Assassin attrition. Combat yoga. Killer soundtrack. Awesome.

Beetner takes hard-boiled and really has fun with it, primarily through the protagonist's inner commentary - and it's all pulled off because Lars is just so damn likeable and relatable. It doesn't matter that he's a career assassin, pushing fifty and living in New Mexico and I'm none of those things; underneath it all, he's just a guy. He's got to deal with an arrogant kid less than half his age telling him he ca
Nov 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The Devil Doesn't Want Me has all the elements that one needs for a great commercial thriller, but it has rare ingredients that make it a work of it's own. Unique characters thrown into a nice linear plot that takes plenty of sharp turns and keeps you guessing. I thought I know where this baby was going when it started, but I had no idea.
Elizabeth A.
Who ever thought killing two girls would be less of a cock-up than keeping one alive? – Lars

Most people would certainly think killing two people would cause significantly more problems than not killing one. Then again, most people aren’t 47-year-old mob hitman Lars. Killing’s what he does, and he’s damn good at it. Well, he was until recently anyway.

For the past seventeen years he’s been on the trail of Mitchell “Mitch the Snitch” Kenney, an accountant who turned on Lars’s employer, Nikki Senior
Jun 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Eric Beetner’s top-notch novel, “The Devil Doesn’t Want Me,” is proof positive that we have entered another golden age of crime fiction. This book is so good that it is not at all clear what Beetner could possibly do as an encore. It has a hardboiled feel to it, but is firmly planted in a modern electronic age.
It is the story of an old hand at contract killing, Lars, who has been chasing down “Mitch the Snitch” for the family for seventeen years, sometimes coming close to finding him, but always
Michelle Isler
Jan 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
"Can I help you with that? he asked calmly". This was the calm and cool response when Lars, veteran hitman, has a gun pulled on him by a sixteen year old girl. Lars has worked for Nikki Senior, East Coast Crime Boss, his whole life. After seventeen years of hunting Mitch the Snitch, Nikki Junior thinks it is time to bring in some young blood to help Lars get this job done. In comes a cocky teen, Trent, with only four kills under his belt to "show" old-timer Lars how it is done. Ear buds, nose ri ...more
Jun 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Lars is a hit man for an East Coast crime family, but for the past seventeen years he’s been living in the desert trying to locate Mitch the Snitch who is in the witness protection system. Then comes Trent, an up and coming hit man who has located Mitch the Snitch and together they go after Mitch. But Lars hasn’t conflicting feelings when he sees Mitch and his daughter. Trent wants to kill everyone, including Lars but is too hyper and although gets Mitch, Lars gets the drop on him and takes off ...more
Jul 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Eric Beetner is favorite author of mine. You can always expect unique intriguing characters, balls to the wall action from page one, and a twisted plot that you never think will unwind itself. Yet by the time you reach the end, you'll be more than satisfied, and hungry for more with melancholy that the story is finished.

But you don't have to wait long for another Beetner yarn to sink your teeth into, the man's a story churning robot who seems to crank out novellas faster than lightning. He's a
Rob Kitchin
Apr 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The Devil Doesn’t Want Me is a noir, road trip story, tracking the flight of an aging hitman and the daughter of his long-term target as they make their way from New Mexico to Los Angeles. The story is well plotted, with Lars becoming increasing reflexive and the action and tension building as the tale unfolds, and the resolution is nicely played out. There were a couple of points where Lars’ judgement seemed a little off, especially the sojourn into Las Vegas, but they did not detract from the ...more
Jan 06, 2013 rated it liked it
A solid noir-ish thriller in the vein of This Gun For Hire only with an aging yoga aficionado in place of Alan Ladd and an obnoxious 16yo filling in for Veronica Lake. An enjoyable read, but I could never take the threat to Lars seriously ([name redacted] instead served primarily for comic relief), and so the plot lacked tension. [PSEUDOSPOILER] The FBI scenes likewise amounted to little: we were given to understand early on that Ford was in no way an estimable field agent, and the Feds didn't f ...more
Josh Stevens
Nov 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Eric Beetner's "The Devil Doesn't Want Me" is a hardboiled thrill ride that is a fantastic addition to the pulp/noir genre. His plot line buzzes along like an electric razor and keeps the reader not only on the edge of their seat, but also guessing at every turn and waiting for the next twist. Each character is well thought out and their behaviors are perfectly executed by Beetner. One often forgets that the protagonist they're rooting for is a professional killer. Even the antagonist becomes so ...more
Rory Costello
Jun 13, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Eric Beetner is really good at establishing a premise and then setting it in motion -- at high speed.

There's a lot more going for this book, though. There are engaging characters on both sides of the ledger: for a hitman, it's remarkable how much sympathy Lars generates. Shaine is an entirely believable teenage girl. Trent is the best obnoxious jerk (supply your own stronger words) that I've encountered in a long time. That's by no means all.

Plus, the dialogue and many other images show a great
Brandon Nagel
Sep 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A fantastic thrill ride of a tale about a veteran hit man on his way out. A fantastic crime tale but also a great story about a special bond formed between an odd couple. There were some excellent surprises along the way and the action never quit. Beetner is one of the best lesser known authors writing today. Do yourself a favor and pick this, or any of his other stuff up immediately. You will not be disappointed.
Chris Rhatigan
Jan 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Eric Beetner breathes new life into the old hit-man-on-his-last-job story. On the one hand, you get fast-paced, yoga-filled action (seriously). On the other, the relationship between Lars and Shaine, a teenage girl with no one left to turn to, brings out the fatherly instincts of the most black-hearted of readers (like me). I also like how much Lars despises the "new" style of hit man--personified in the moronic, mock-gangsta Trent. Highly recommended for fans of hardboiled/noir genres.
Dana King
Oct 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Old hit man who may have lost an inch off his fastball is sent a younger hotshot to help him close an outstanding contract. They don’t get along, but they get together to do the job, which is where things go haywire. I’ll not spoil anything, but suffice to say the books starts with a dynamic that reminded me of Armand and Richie from Elmore Leonard’s Killshot (one of my Leonard favorites) and segues seamlessly into a smart chase/action movie where everything is believable.
Joseph Patchen
Jan 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
But I want you to read my full review at
Jul 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The first book by Beetner that I've read and it was very good. Good chemistry despite the awkward pairing of the old guy with the 14 year old girl. I'm looking forward to the next in this series.
Alex Carbo
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Mar 10, 2018
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David Nemeth
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Feb 11, 2018
Jenn Murphy
rated it it was amazing
Aug 27, 2013
Robin Jonathan Deutsch
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Dec 20, 2012
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Oct 15, 2015
John Sheridan
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Aug 02, 2013
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Eric Beetner is the author of The Devil Doesn't Want Me, Dig Two Graves, White Hot Pistol, The Year I Died Seven Times, Criminal Economics, Stripper Pole At The End Of The World and the story collection A Bouquet of Bullets. He is co-author (with JB Kohl) of One Too Many Blows To The Head and the sequel, Borrowed Trouble as well as writing two novellas in the acclaimed Fightcard series, Split

Other books in the series

A Lars and Shaine Novel (2 books)
  • When the Devil Comes to Call